Woke Art: Tasha Dougé’s Braided Flag Will Blow Your Mind

Heath Gallery, You Rock!!! Thank you for this post and all your support. For everyone that sees this post, I urge to you visit #HangNight if you want to enter into an artistic Garden of Eden. Immerse yourself in a Universe where art is the language of love, comprehension and community. Repost from @heathgallery "My purpose is to elevate my community by any means necessary. I put out the conversations that people don't want to have." – Tasha Douge', Conceptual Artist. – Artwork: Douge's This Land Is My Land" aka "Justice" photographed by Julieta Varela and @seecheles at HangNight™.. . If you missed this dynamic emerging artist's conversation with The New York Times yesterday check out the NYT FB video (4/11, 2pm EST). We celebrate Tasha Douge's courage, creativity and boldness and look forward to more. .. . The next HangNight™ is Friday, April 28.. Learn more about this monthly art exhibition. Link to web is in bio.. .. #heathgallery #hangnight #beseen #beheard #becreative #yourvoicematters #truthtopower #conceptualart #dailyart #americanflag #blackhair #theamericanflag #nyt #thenewyorktimes #justice #justicenotforsale

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There is always something powerful about artists using our hair stories and heritage to transform black girl magic into empowering statements. We’ve been moved by such moments by the likes of Shani Crowe and Murjoni Merriweather. Now, Tasha Goudé is taking the politics of hair to a whole new level with a flag she made entirely out of braided hair and cotton.

[SEE ALSO: Shani Crowe’s ‘Braids’ Photo Series Celebrates The Art, Tradition Of Black Hair]

The conceptual visual artist was inspired to create the unapologetically black piece after hearing the hot button phrase “Make America great again” and asking herself “When was it great? Who was it great for?”. The answer, she said in a Facebook Live conversation with the NY Times, came “from the contributions of enslaved Africans that were brought to this land.”

Tasha Dougé x NY Times

Photo Credit: NY Times

So, she embarked on the daunting task of braiding rows of different shades of black, brown and grey synthetic hair into a 5′ x 3′ flag representing our various skin tones, ongoing oppression and the Black experience in America. She mounted the flag onto chicken wire representing the backbone and concept of feeling caged, with the cotton signifying the slave industry.

“I was very strategic in picking the kinkiest, knottiest, nappiest hair because for so long we are told that that’s not beautiful and we have been taught to subscribe to a more European aesthetic, but that’s not our truth,” she shared. The truth, she said, is in our our natural kinks and curls “The coil is what came up first. That is the truth. That is the legacy of our ancestors.”

Press play below to learn more about the artist and her poignant work.

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About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is a music, hair and communications junkie. founder of Sadiaa and editor for HypeHair.com.